This is part 5 of a 6 part post. Click here for Part #1Part #2Part #3, and Part #4

 

Jamilah rode hard, her muscles straining as she climbed up Post Street. She dumped her bicycle in the living room and stood, breathing heavily. Her eyes roamed the apartment. Not finding whatever distraction she sought, she grabbed a sofa cushion and threw it across the room. It struck a table lamp and knocked it over, but the lamp did not break. Unsatisfied, she took another cushion and flung it toward the small kitchen. The cushion hit a frying pan that hung from a nail and knocked it loose. The pan fell to the counter and then to the floor with a rewarding clang.

Jamilah collapsed onto the cushionless sofa. What about my deal, Allah? She realized that technically, Allah had kept His part of the deal. She had gotten her bike back, after all. But what about the spirit of the deal? Did God look for loopholes, like a lawyer? Wasn't He above that?

Jamilah remembered Kadija explaining that we don't make deals with Allah; that He needs nothing from us; and that the worship we perform is for ourselves. That was well and good but what about her job? Was she still going to stick to the deal? Was she going to pray and fast? Most of all, was she still going to wear this thing on her head?

Jamilah knew the answer to that. She had never backed down from anything in her life. She had made a promise to Allah and she would keep it. Not Adel nor anyone else would derail her from her chosen path.

She rose and went to the bathroom, where she turned on the sink and did wudu' as Kadija had showed her. It wasn't time for the prescribed prayer, but she prayed anyway. She put her hijab on, laid down the beautiful Dome of the Rock musalla that Kadija had given her, and went through the motions of the prayer, reciting Surat al-Fatiha when standing – it had come back to her after hearing Kadija say it a few times. She hadn't yet learned what to say in the other parts of the prayer, but she spoke to Allah in her own words, asking Him to show her the way. Then she lay in her bed and slept.

Her phone rang. Jamilah woke up, feeling wool-headed and senseless, and answered it.

“Jamilah, it's Nabeel,” the voice on the other end said.

“Nabeel?” Why was her brother calling? What time was it? In fact, what day was it?

“You need to come home right away. Mom's sick. She's at Saint Agnes in Fresno, in the cardiac center.”

Feeling as if she'd been shocked with a stun gun, Jamilah hung up the phone and went to the bathroom. She splashed water on her face, then checked the clock. It was 11:30 am. She had slept for three hours, but it felt like a week. She was not used to napping, and her limbs were heavy as lead. Her senses began to return and she felt panic. Her heart heart hammered as she threw a few things in a bag, including her prayer dress and musalla. She knew where Shamsi kept her spare cash – they shared such information in case of emergencies. Opening the bottom drawer of Shamsi's dresser, she removed forty dollars from a sock, then wrote an explanatory note and taped it to the fridge.

A half hour later she was on the Amtrak shuttle bus, cruising along the Bay Bridge on her way to the Emeryville train station. She dug into her pocket for her phone, intending to call her brother for an update, and realized that in her grogginess and haste she had forgotten it.

Nabeel said that their mother had experienced a terrible headache, shortness of breath and chest pain. The doctors at Saint Agnes had found enzymes in her bloodstream that indicated a possible heart attack. Mom was conscious but very weak.

The train ride seemed to take forever. When she'd been hurriedly packing she had snatched a book off her nightstand and tossed it in her pack. It was a history of the Lebanese civil war. She found her bookmark and tried to read, but she found herself reading the same paragraph over and over again, remembering nothing. She gazed out the window, watching the Central Valley countryside flow by. Fields, wetlands, sheep, houses with junked cars in their backyards, little kids waving at the train from behind picket fences… scenes of agricultural wealth and personal poverty.

Why was this happening? Jamilah did not understand. She had made this deal with Allah, promising these important things – at least she thought they were important – and now everything was falling apart. Wasn't faith supposed to make your life better? Didn't Allah reward believers? Wasn't He supposed to have your back?

She remembered a Christian poster she had once seen. It showed two sets of footprints in the sand on a beach. Then one set disappeared. A man says, “God, what happened? I thought You would be with me all the time. But when things got bad, Your footprints disappeared. Why did You abandon me?” And God replies, “That's when I carried you.”

Wasn't faith supposed to be like that? Instead Jamilah felt alone, cut off, and abandoned by everyone.

When she arrived in Fresno she thought about taking a cab, but she didn't have enough money. And without her cell phone, she couldn't remember her brother's number. So she took the city bus.

Saint Agnes was across town from the Amtrak station, and the bus passed through bad neighborhoods. She was sure that the rough young men who boarded the bus would have hit on her the past. It had happened often enough. But they ignored her this time. Jamilah wondered if it was because of her hijab. People were treating her with deference, they way they would a nun.

Not everyone was so respectful, however. As she climbed off the bus a few blocks from the hospital, someone muttered, “Terrorist.” Jamilah did not look to see who had said it.

She walked up Herndon Avenue toward Saint Agnes. There was no sidewalk, so she walked in the dirt of an empty field. Traffic rushed by at high speeds, causing her scarf to flutter around her neck. By the time she arrived at the hospital it was almost sundown. Nabeel sat beside mom's hospital bed, a neglected hand of solitaire spread out in front of him as he kept his eyes on their mother's vital signs monitor. The room was half-lit and silent. Three vases of flowers stood vigil on the table, from family friends no doubt.

Mom was asleep. There was more gray in her hair than Jamilah remembered, and her age-spotted hands seemed frail. How can she have aged so much in a year? Jamilah thought. What have I done?

“Jamilah.” Her brother stood and embraced her. “I'm so happy you're here.” His eyes became moist. “I've really missed you.”

Nabeel had been eight when their father passed away. Since then he'd become a mama's boy. He had always looked up to Jamilah as well, trying to copy her in everything. So the current rift between Jamilah and her mother had been hard on him. He'd been paralyzed, not knowing what to do.

Nabeel filled her in, and Jamilah spoke to the attending nurse who came to check her mom's IV. Her mother had been sedated to bring down her blood pressure. In the morning they would run a CAT scan to check for arterial blockage. Mom might awaken at any time. There was nothing to do but wait.

Nabeel noted Jamilah's hijab, but did not seem terribly surprised. Probably thinks it's just another radical experiment. Nabeel was a good young man, intelligent and kind, but not driven like Jamilah. He had always been fascinated by Jamilah's messenger job. Whenever they spoke on the phone, he wanted to hear stories of rush jobs and near-death traffic experiences. Now, however, he was pensive. His eyes kept drifting to the life signs monitor.

Jamilah scooted her chair close to his and took his hand. “It'll be alright,” she said. “No matter what happens, we'll figure it out.”

Nabeel smiled, but the corners of his mouth barely lifted. He nodded his head a little too quickly.

The truth was that in spite of her words, Jamilah felt unmoored and clueless for the first time in years. She was trying to stay positive for Nabeel, but she wished there were someone she could turn to who would be stronger in turn than her. She had programmed Kadija's number into her phone, but without her phone she didn't know it. She had a sudden thought and dug her wallet out of her travel bag. There, in the zippered pocket of her wallet, was the small piece of paper Hassan had given her. She looked at it for a long time.

“What's that?” Nabeel asked.

“A friend,” Jamilah said. “A good man, I think.”

 

***

 

Jamilah thought that maybe Hassan could give her some guidance, or some comforting words from the Qur'an. Instead, he took her contact information and the address of the hospital, and told her he would be there that night.

“How?” Jamilah said, baffled.

“Don't worry,” Hassan said. “I'll work it out.”

“In that case, could you stop at my apartment and get my phone and some extra clothes?”

“Uhh, are you sure you want me going through your clothes? I'm not comfortable with that.”

“Oh, as if. My cousin Shamsi will have a bag ready for you.”

Saint Agnes was a Catholic hospital, and had a chapel on the second floor. Jamilah washed for prayer, then took the stairs to the chapel. It was empty. A cross hung on the wall, but Jamilah figured that Allah would understand her situation. She laid her musalla on the floor and prayed Maghreb and Isha' together. As she prayed, she asked Allah to heal her mother. I cannot lose her like this, Yaa Allah. Not the way we left things. Give me a chance to make it better.

Was Allah hearing her? Everything had gone wrong since she had begun praying and wearing hijab. Why? Was Allah trying to tell her something? Was there something important that she was failing to grasp?

When she returned to the room, Nabeel had fallen asleep in his seat. Jamilah opened her book, but her thoughts kept going to Hassan. She was developing feelings for him, and it both excited and scared her. There was so much she didn't know about him. He had too many secrets. But there was something so strong in him, so confident and yet kind. He reminds of my father, she realized. She could tell that Hassan needed to be loved. In spite of all his potency, he was wounded. He needed someone to believe in him. Jamilah imagined that any woman who could marry him and love him for who he was, would get something amazing in return.

Nabeel woke up and went down to the hospital cafeteria to get sandwiches. Jamilah sat in the hushed hospital room, reading her book, and sometimes glancing at her mother's face. Time passed.

“As-salamu alaykum.” Jamilah looked up, and there was Hassan. He looked very different than he did at work. He wore blue jeans, a knee-length Arab-style shirt with buttons down the front, and a white and green kufi on his head. In one hand he carried a blue Adidas bag. With his broad shoulders and muscular physique, Hassan looked like an image from an Islamic fashion magazine.

“Wa alaykum as-salam,” she said. “How'd you get here so fast?”

“I have friends with cars. I got my hands on an Audi, and I put the pedal to the metal. How's your mother?”

“She hasn't been awake since I've been here. We'll know more in the morning.”

“May Allah give her shifaa'. Here, your cousin gave me this.” He handed her the blue bag.

“Hassan, I really appreciate you coming. I'm sorry if it's been any trouble. I've just been feeling so alone and confused.” A tear slipped from her eye and ran down her cheek, and she covered her face in embarrassment.

Hassan kneeled beside her. “It's going to be okay, Jamilah. You'll get through this, insha'Allah. Allah says, 'Inna ma'al 'usri yusraa.' With every difficulty comes ease. In fact yusraa is a dual form, so it's saying that with every difficulty comes double relief.”

“I could u – use some double relief,” Jamilah said, her breath hitching as she tried to stifle her sobs. She wiped her tears. “I said almost the same words to my brother when I got here – it's okay, we'll get through this. But Hassan, all I've had since I made this deal with Allah are problems. I got fired, and now this.” She gestured toward her mom.

“Don't be too sure about being fired,” Hassan said, “Adel will change his mind, I expect. And for your mom, just pray. Allah hears you. I know it might seem like He doesn't. But He's with you. Faith doesn't make our problems disappear, you know? In fact, as your iman increases, the tests increase, or they wouldn't challenge you.”

“I don't want to be challenged right now.”

Hassan nodded. “Yeah… I'm sure. But..” He shrugged. “That's life. It's how you learn who you are. The tests are not for Allah, they're for us. We have to trust that Allah isn't some random god up there in the heavens saying, 'Let me see what I can throw at them today.' He cares about us.”

“I thought faith was supposed to make things easier, not harder,” Jamilah said.

“I think it does make life better,” Hassan said, “It certainly made my life better. But it doesn't make us rich, or beautiful, or take away all our problems, because Allah doesn't value those things. Our predecessors, the Prophets and the Sahabah, they went through major hardships, but they persevered, right? That's the key, I think. Faith gives us the means to cope, because we trust that Allah wants good for us, and we know that the road ends in Jannah – in Paradise.”

“Do you believe that?” Jamilah asked.

“What, you mean Jannah? Don't you?”

“I subscribe to the belief,” Jamilah said. “Because it's a part of my religion. But in my heart? I don't know.”

Hassan was silent. He stood and stretched his arms, then walked to the door of the room. Then he turned back to Jamilah. “Can I tell you a story?” he said.

“Please do.”

“My parents died when I was twelve, and – “

“Oh, Hassan! I didn't know that.”

“It's okay. What I wanted to say is that I remember the day we buried my father. I remember the bells, and the procession to the cemetery. There were a lot of people there. I remember people reciting poems, everyone chanting with one voice. And some of the mourners striking their own faces. People playing drums, flutes, cymbals. Two men drew swords and danced, shouting like they were at war. I had grown up here in the U.S. and it was all strange to me. Charlie – “ Hassan paused and looked down at the floor. He smoothed his kufi with his hand, then continued.

“My little brother. I could hear him crying, and a part of me was worried he'd have an asthma attack, but I couldn't think about that. I was told to climb down into the grave to help lower my father's body, so I did, along with three other men. The grave seemed so deep, and the gravel at the bottom was cold and damp. We held his casket and lowered it into the grave. At that moment everything disappeared -” Hassan made a motion as if wiping a window clean.

“Down in that hole, the world was silent. I remember that I bent down and picked up a handful of gravel. I was thinking of how alive my father had been just a few days before. And I thought, This is what it comes to. Everything that my father was, everything that he felt and hoped, everything that he would have been, was now just this dead body in a damp hole. All his secrets, his private dreams, all the details of his life that he had never shared, just gone. It made no sense at all.”

“Later, when I came to Islam, I realized that nothing is gone. All that my father was, all that he thought and dreamed, is alive with Allah. It exists. Not only that, it's alive with my father, because his soul, his essence, is immortal. That feels so right to me. I can feel in my bones that it's true. Whether Allah will forgive my father, whether he is destined for Paradise or Hell, I can't say. That's for Allah. But what I know is that the promise of Allah is true, and that this life” – he pointed to the floor – “is a single moment in this great journey that we're on.”

Jamilah was silent for a while. “I believe that too, I suppose,” she said. “I never considered it in those terms, but if I think about my father, then yes, I believe that my father's essence is alive. And I believe he's in a good place. I appreciate you sharing that with me Hassan. Thank you.”

Hassan nodded and sucked on his lower lip. Jamilah wondered what he was thinking.

“I didn't know you had a brother,” Jamilah said.

Hassan pursed his lips. His jaw was set in a way that Jamilah had never seen before, and his eyes were chips of ice. It was a look of accumulated fury, as if Hassan had harbored an inner rage for so long that it had frozen into a glacier in his heart.

“He's dead,” Hassan said. “Not long after my parents. I don't want to talk about it.”

Jamilah was shocked – Hassan had lost so much – but she respected Hassan's wishes. She watched as Hassan began compulsively manipulating his own hands in strange ways, twisting them outward, then folding them into toward his arms, then pulling the fingers out and down.

“What is that you do with your hands?” she asked.

“These are wrist stretches,” Hassan said. “In some of the martial arts I practice we do a lot of joint manipulation. We attack all the joints, but especially the wrists. So I run through these stretches every day, sometimes twenty or thirty times.”

As Hassan performed his exercises, Jamilah thought about her own father. He'd been a strong man, with a broad back and deep chest. At Madera's annual Cinco de Mayo parade he would lift both children onto his shoulders at the same time, on one each shoulder. When he was feeling playful he would even lift their mother onto his shoulders as she squealed and protested in genuine outrage. That had always made Jamilah and Nabeel laugh uproariously. Jamilah had imagined her father could lift the world itself, like Atlas.

It had never occurred to her that her father would die one day, and certainly not so soon. But he'd been a heavy smoker all his life, and the cigarettes had poisoned him from the inside out. When he'd died so suddenly and so painfully, it had at first shaken Jamilah to the core. She withdrew into herself, neglecting her schoolwork and her friends. Finally one day her mother said, “Jamilah, I know you loved your father with all your heart. But you are your father's daughter. You have his strength, I can see it. You have his drive and determination. If you want to make him proud, then stand up and be strong like him. Be everything that he was.”

That had done the trick.

How strange, Jamilah thought. I haven't thought of that in years. I'd totally forgotten mom saying that to me. It was funny in a way, because Jamilah had indeed become a strong and proud girl, and had ended up at loggerheads with her mother over everything from the clothes she wore to her choice of major in college. She was ashamed to admit that she had thought her mother weak, in a way.

Something occurred to her. “Hey Hassan,” Jamilah said, “When you were describing your father's funeral, that wasn't a Muslim funeral, was it?” she said.

“No,” he said.

“So your parents weren't Muslim? You said you came to Islam later. What religion were you?”

“Can I trust you to keep these things to yourself, Jamilah? I have reasons for wanting to keep my life private.”

“I don't see what the big deal is, I mean you already told me – “

Hassan shook his head. “Never mind then. I didn't mean to get into all this.” He stood and looked at Jamilah's mother. “She's still a beautiful woman ma-sha-Allah. I can see where you get your beauty.”

“Don't try to change the subject,” Jamilah said. A part of her was pleased at Hassan's compliment. She wondered if Hassan really thought she was beautiful, or was just being polite. I shouldn't be thinking about such things. My mother could be dying.

“On the drive over here,” Hassan said, “I was thinking about your deal with Allah. You thought your deal was one thing – you give me this, I'll give you that – but maybe Allah is telling you that it's much more. We Muslims do have a bargain with Allah, but it's a bigger bargain than I think you anticipated. It's a covenant for our lives. We dedicate to Allah our souls, our hearts, our deeds, and He gives us Jannah. That's the price of faith. We don't pray and fast because Allah gives us some material thing we want. We do it because He gave us everything – food, water, breath… Life. Everything that we have comes from Him. So we worship because we're grateful, right? Because we love Allah.”

Jamilah nodded slowly. “I see what you're saying. You're right. It's more than I've been thinking about. It's a little frightening to think in those terms.”

“Don't be frightened,” Hassan said. “Allah is not your enemy.”

“What about tranquility?” Jamilah said.

“What do you mean?”

“You said that faith doesn't bring material rewards. Okay, I accept that. But shouldn't it at least bring inner peace?”

Hassan shrugged. “I think it does.”

“Then why are you so troubled? Why do you keep secrets? At times you seem tranquil – actually, you seem like a mountain sometimes, just silent and solid. But other times you seem like you're about to crack in half.”

Hassan turned and walked to the doorway. “You have a brother, right? Where is he?”

Jamilah sighed. Trying to get Hassan to open up was like trying to trying to break down the Israeli apartheid wall with a pillow.

“That's a good question. Nabeel went to the cafeteria ages ago. He's probably trying to hit on a pretty nurse. Or maybe he went home for something, I don't know. Hassan, I asked you a question. What's with all the secrets?”

“Yes, I hear you…” He turned back and looked at her. “You know what I said about my father, about standing in the grave and thinking, 'Is this what it comes to?'”

“Yeah.”

“There isn't a day when I don't remember that moment, and that thought. Some things are hard to shake, even when you know better. I… made mistakes when I was young, and I know that becoming Muslim wipes out everything that came before, but that doesn't take away the shame, or the memories. It doesn't make the past easier to live with. And I'm still living with the consequences. I don't…” Hassan shook his head. “I don't have a good relationship with the past.”

“ Didn't you tell me that forgiveness is a big part of Islam?”

“Yes.”

“ Doesn't that include forgiving yourself?”

Hassan nodded his head slowly. “I just don't know how,” he said.

You can read Part 6 here – The Deal, Part 6 – Make Me Proud

For a guide to all of Wael's stories in chronological order, check out this handy Story Index.

45 Responses

    • Wael Abdelgawad

      Heh, you can ask, but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a week.

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  1. Humaira Khan

    You said the mother had chest pain, weakness and then collapsed. There are two possibilities: one, inferior wall MI or massive heart attack; 2) massive pulmonary embolism.

    Both are emergencies requiring immediate intervention such as thrombolytic therapy at the very least.

    Now if she had collapsed, I’m guessing her blood pressure was low. If it was very high, she might have had headache and neurological signs indicating cerebral hemorrhage. Neither requires sedation. And neither warrants inaction.

    Also,even if heart attack is diagnosed on basis of cardiac enzymes as opposed to the ECG then the usual course of action is to put in a stent … Nobody waits on patients like her these days. Besides, given her history, there should have been some ECG changes for sure.

    If she had had an ischrmic stroke, say, if she was diabetic, then after initial therapy there would be a possible wait-and-watch policy. So you could use that medical scenario instead.

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    • Wael Abdelgawad

      Hah! I forgot how many Muslims are doctors. Well, you’ll find out the actual diagnosis in the next part. In fact this is based almost exactly on something that happened to my own mother, except that I took a few literary liberties. My mother’s blood pressure was high (not low), she had a headache and shortness of breath, and she did not in fact collapse. So you were right on the money, doc. They did not take any emergency action, however. They waited until morning then ran a CAT scan. So I adopted that into the story.

      Based on your expertise, what would be a scenario that would require sedation? Or that might result in a short-term coma?

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  2. Humaira Khan

    You could say she was diabetic and her diagnosis could be diabetic coma due to hypoglycemia or hyper osmotic non ketotic coma due to hyperglycemia. Or she could have acute or chronic renal failure leading to uremic encephalopathy. Or she could have hepatic encephalopathy due to underlying liver cancer which of course is diagnosed later.

    There are so many conditions that produce a coma. Why do you want to medically induce it with sedatives. They give sedatives for alcoholism and psychosis though but that won’t work for your heroine’s mom. :)

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  3. Abu Asiyah

    Oh man, you write out your characters’ feelings very well. I felt like I was in Jamilah’s shoes. Dialogue is a lot better too, feels alive now.

    Still don’t like the romantic theme that the story is taking, I feel like that’s in every story Muslims write. I do see what it does for the character and the story though.

    Funny how a Muslim doc spotted the inaccuracy of the medical scenario :) I didn’t even think about that!

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    • Aisha

      I’m so excited for the next part! As for me, I love that there’s halal romance, emphasis on halal, in here; but to each his own.

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  4. Humaira Khan

    Well, it was kind of jarring for me. Just like writers and teachers would find grammatical or spelling errors jarring or an artist might find an incorrect rendering of light and shade jarring. :) nothing personal.

    Forgot to mention in the first comment that if she had high blood pressure and she collapsed then it could be due to massive cerebral hemorrhage secondary to hypertension. But the patient would then be in a coma which would most likely be irreversible.

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    • Wael Abdelgawad

      Sure, I understand. I made a change to the medical situation based on your comments. I removed the part about her collapsing. It’s now exactly what happened to my mother.

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      • Humaira Khan

        Good but just one other thing: maybe I’m misunderstanding the situation, but the CT scan would be of her head to rule out brain hemorrhage in view of her hypertension and headache.

        For the chest pain and elevated cardiac enzymes, she would require angiography and/or angioplasty.

        Please correct me if I’m making the wrong assessment.

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  5. abu yaya

    Look, jamilah and hassan better get married – or at least be well on their way there – in part 6, or i am going to be massively dissapointed

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  6. Amanda T

    Your stories have become an integral part of my Thursdays/Fridays. I hope that you have another story after this one as well?

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    • Wael Abdelgawad

      Amanda, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying them. Yes, there’s another story on the way (a long one), but it’s not complete yet. I was stuck for a while, but I had a breakthrough today, so maybe it will get going now Insha’Allah.

      Out of curiosity, which character would you like to see as protagonist of the next story: Hassan, Jamilah, Layth (aka Louis), Kadija, Muhammad, or Sahar?

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      • Eman

        I agree, Hassan! Such an intriguing story waiting to happen :)

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      • Zainab

        Hassan! It would be interesting to see his character more in depth and learn more about his background.

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      • Amanda T

        Oh, Hassan seems popular and I agree that his past is a real mystery. But I’m really drawn toward Muhammad. He seems so cheerful and laid back. But his attachment to toys — and old school toys, at that — suggest some underlying issues…A rough or deprived childhood perhaps?

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      • Amanda T

        Also, glad to hear that you’ve gotten past your block. Sometimes, the best pieces come out after a jam. And don’t forget to take breaks to relax your mind. We all love your stories but we’d gladly wait a week or two if it means you get a nice break =)

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  7. Sheryf jannah focus

    Salaamu alaikum wrwb!
    I will call this part… #the dawah-part:) so many lessons mashaAllah!!

    I like the doctor’s intervention to the story! I understand that jarring feeling– making the Incredible credible!:p jazaakillaah dr.humaira!:)

    *I also understand abu-asiya abt the romantic twist..lol
    but the “romance” is only a small part of the whole piece!
    i guess bro.waeel has and is trying to keep it cool…I hope it remains clean till the end!… Clean love stories are always intriguing, captivating.. and they sell too:) hehee

    *finally..I predict that, like layth (luis) ended up marrying khadija.. So will Jami end up as hasan’s wife, but waeel is likely not to mention that and may thus end abruptly, against popular expectations (as he did with pieces-of-dreams)..lol

    *may Allah make you and us all better and better, and forgiv and guide us ..til jannah. Ameeen

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  8. Muslimatun

    Asalamu Alaikum Br. Wael,

    I’ve been hooked on your stories ever since I discovered them a couple of weeks ago. MashAllah you definitely have skills! I noticed in this part you said that “yusra” is in dual form but that’s actually incorrect. It’s singular but it is mentioned twice, maybe that’s what was intended to be said? You should think about writing a novel (which I’m sure you have), it would provide a great alternative for our Muslim youth rather than reading so much trash that’s out there. May Allah (swt) reward you and allow you to use your writing for His service!

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    • Wael Abdelgawad

      Muslimatun, wa alaykum as-salam. I’m so glad you are enjoying the series. In a way, this is the novel.

      I do remember reading recently that “yusraa” is a dual form linguistically. I don’t remember now where I read it. Allahu ‘alam.

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  9. Muslimah

    Was this part actually short or was it just me!?
    It felt as if it ended as soon as I started reading it!
    It’s not fair to someone who can read a 100 pages in a go.. :)
    As usual waiting for the next part..

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    • Eman

      Lol, reading these stories is like eating mahshy; they took hours of preparation but we devoured them in seconds. :)

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  10. RCHOUDH

    Mash’allah great chapter and the mystery surrounding Hassan keeps deepening! I would’ve never known he wasn’t born Muslim, I thought he was Syrian (meaning Syrian Muslim, since I realize he could’ve still been Syrian, but just Christian). BTW how many chapters will this story be? I’m thinking there should be more since there are a bunch of loose ends to tie up, especially with regards to Hassan. Anyway I’m looking forward to the chapter 6 next week In sha Allah and keep up the great work!

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  11. Bint A

    That was too short! There should be a Part 5b before the last chapter…

    I’m apprehending an abrupt ending :( … even though I think it’s cool how you incorporate characters of one story into the subsequent story which makes it feel like the story didn’t really end…

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  12. Mahvish Munir

    There are some parts in this story that I related to so well that I was in tears. I honestly can’t wait for your novel!

    I caught a few spelling mistakes in this part as well as some other parts. I hope they are fixed when you actually publish your work Inshallah.

    JazakAllah for the amazing stories brother!

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    • Wael Abdelgawad

      You’re welcome! I put a lot of my heart into my stories, so it’s rewarding to hear that the emotion comes through on the other end.

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  13. Reshma Rahiman

    Assalamualaikum,
    The story is going great soo far :)…The wait for the next chapter is going to be loong…also it was great fun to read everybody’s comments, sort of like being in a virtual, fragmented book reading club…fragmented by time zones, continents… :) great work brother, inshaAllah will love to hear more stories from u. Aslm\
    p.s: Is it me or does anybody feel like these characters actually exist ?

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    • Wael Abdelgawad

      Reshma, the characters certainly feel real to me. I think of them as real people. There comes a point in writing a story when the author has developed the character so well that the character drives the story, sometimes in ways that the author does not expect. If I reach that point, I know I’ve got something good going.

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    • Eman

      Yes! I think we feel their realness and imagine them so clearly because they came to life throughout the story. They are so easy to relate to even if we haven’t met someone exactly like them. It’s just good writing :) I can’t wait for Thursday!

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  14. Barakah

    “Faith doesn’t make our problems disappear, you know?” I don’t know why this sentence brought tears to my eyes. Can’t wait for the next part, when is it due?

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  15. Abdul-Mujeeb

    I am glad that there is a male writer with a gifted hand. The previous parts reminded me of the movie PREMIUM RUSH. Baarakallahu fihi akhee

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  16. amatullah

    Assalamualaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    Broher Wael
    May Allah Swt bless you and make this a halal alternative for people who find it hard to give up novels with contents unacceptable..

    I didnt want to bring this up but subhanAllah this has been bothering me and I hope you won’t get offended…

    The dialogue of Hasan regarding him feeling uncomfortable touching her clothes ….
    just feel it so wrong for some reason…
    I guess it’ll be really good if you can remove or edit that line…
    JazakAllahu Khayr

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  17. Kaleem

    Wow, this part was even better but short as others mentioned above. Akhi, I complain for not being notified of this part and the subsequent one as well. Masha Allah your writing is very captivating as always; I am off to reading the part 6 now.

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  18. Kaleem

    Oh absolutely not bro. I can speak for myself that I never felt that way with any one of you alhamdullah. So keep me updated at least.

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  19. Blueportal

    Asalam u alaikum,

    While the story is very interesting to read, I just found a few things dissatisfying. I am not sure which type of Muslims are these youth in the story representing, but I feel like it is very similar to the romance theme found in regular romance novels. There is too much free mixing being portrayed, and the kinds of dialogues that Jamilah and Hasan are exchanging are not the ideal kind of dialogues for Muslim audiences.
    Also, I feel like it is very contradictory for the characters to be saying good things such as Alhamdu lillah, and ma sha Allah, but at the same time saying things that are very fantasy like. I feel like this might give some readers the idea that it is okay to free mix and share personal details with the opposite gender while remembering Allah…
    The reason I am pointing these out is because sometimes, the readers can start relating to the story and may want that to happen to them in real life which is not really good a thing.

    Otherwise, the style of writing is very professional!

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